The Grand Palace is one of the most attractive and busiest destinations in Bangkok that is situated on the east side of the Chao Phraya River.
The Grand Palace is one of the most attractive and busiest destinations in Bangkok that is situated on the east side of the Chao Phraya River. It is a complex of buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand located right next to Wat Pho, the temple of the 46-meter reclining Buddha. The Palace includes over 30 Royal buildings, halls, temples and museums as well as countless statues, figures and other beautiful things to explore. It is undeniable that this palace is worth 3-4 hours of your discovering time, if you have it to spare.
A magnificent old dame
Probably being the most famous landmark in Bangkok, the building used to serve as a residence for the Kings of Thailand. In any tour, the tour guide will lead you through the vast compound filled with several halls and smaller palaces used for various ceremonial occasions. Indeed, The Grand Palace is also a magnificent old dame which keeps on having visitors in awe with its wonderful architecture and intricate detail, all of which is considered as a salute of the craftsmanship and creativity of the Thai people. Within its walls were also state departments, the Thai war ministry as well as the mint. Nowadays, the complex remains the spiritual heart of the Thai Kingdom.
The Grand Royal Palace
History of the Grand Palace
Initially, the palace was constructed on May 6, 1782, at the order from the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, King Rama I. The King moved the Capital city from Thonburi (near Bangkok) to Bangkok. Then, he started to divide the area into several quarters: The Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the outer court, middle court, inner court and the gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently opened as a museum for civilians, with several functioning and working Royal offices situated inside. The eclectic styles and asymmetry are due to its organic development. Rebuilding and additions were made by successive reigning Kings over 230 years of history, especially during the reign of King Rama V. 1853 -1910. The complex is covered by 1,900 meters long walls and houses among other Royal residences, the throne halls and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Also, this structure housed the center of government and the Royal Court and became the center of the Kingdom.
The Temple of the Emerald Buddha
One thing needs to be noticed that there is a fairly strict dress code you must oblige in order to enter the Grand Palace. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha of the Grand Palace is Thailand's most sacred site.
Travellers must be properly dressed before being allowed to enter the temple. Prohibited items of clothing include shorts, mini-skirts, tight-fitting trousers, any see-through items of clothing, sleeveless tops, sandals (excluding those with heel straps), sweatshirts, sweatpants, and pajamas. For men, you must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves (no tank tops). If you are wearing sandals or flip-flops you must wear socks (in other words, no bare feet.) within. For women, it is acceptable if you are similarly modestly dressed (No see-through clothes, bare shoulders, etc).
If you appear at the front gate improperly dressed, there is a booth near the entrance which can provide clothes to cover you up properly (a deposit is required). It is better that you are overdressed and drink plenty of water to avoid overheating than it is to be turned away at the Grand Palace’s entrance. The reason is that The Palace is so big and has so much to look at that it is worth coming back a couple of times.
The Grand Royal Palace complex
How to get there
There are two popular ways to reach this destination. The first one is River Boat and Tuk Tuk is the second. About River Boat, this is always regarded as the easiest and most exciting way to get there. In case, you plan to visit several sites on the river, then let’s get a Chao Phraya Tourist Boat day pass. With one ticket, you can get on and off the boat as many times as you want. Otherwise, you can use the Chao Phraya express boat. It allows you to get off at either Tha Tien pier on the Southern end of the Palace complex or at Tha Chang pier on the Northern end.
How about Tuk Tuk Taxi? This is a very famous transportation that almost all of the visitors want to experience when travelling in this Asian country. If you start your journey from an area away from the river, it is not a really bad idea to take a Tuk Tuk or a metered taxi. The cost for this trip is not too much. Therefore, you should consider both ways to experience them to the fullest.
The entrance fees of the Grand Palace
One more thing that visitors pay attention when coming to The Grand Palace is its ticket fee. The Entrance Fees for Grand Palace Bangkok is 500 Baht per person, same price for adults and children (fees for Grand Palace Bangkok and Wat Phra Kaew are included). The entrance fee also includes an admission ticket to Vimanmek Mansion and some surrounding attractive places. If you check the ticket carefully, you will easily find that the ticket is valid for The Grand Palace and The Emerald Buddha as well but only for one day.
Come discovering the impressive architecture of Grand Palace
However, you can visit Vimanmek Mansion and few other surroundings places within 7 days. Besides, in case you show up in short pants or sleeveless shirts, clothing can be rented at the entrance at 200 Thai Baht per person. There is an additional 50 Baht cost also for the Wat Arun and Wat Pho respectively.
One last important thing to keep in mind is that opening hours are daily from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, and the last entry at 3:30 pm. The Palace is rarely closed, just when it is used for official state functions. If you can check in early in the morning, you may well be able to enjoy the trip to these buildings when there are less people around and can take more wonderful pictures. Bangkok’s Grand Palace is obviously a place to experience when you decide to visit Thailand’s capital city.